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Hindu33
16 February 2013, 01:36 PM
Hello,
I feel great that there is a forum to discuss about hindu dharma. I was searching for a few things online regarding mahabharatha and i bumped into this forum. Now i don't do japas or bhajans or anything, I don't even pray. But somehow lately i have taken interest in reading mahabharatha because it is like a fast paced thriller. I like Krishna and the pandavas and also ashwatthama. Now my question is, some of the evidence proves that this was not just a poem but also a historical account and even I am inclined to think so. And some experts suggest that the kurukshetra war had taken place some 3000 years ago. Then how come so much is lost today and why no one has any knowledge about the great weapons or the mystical powers? If we could possibly interpret the vedas and crack the codes, maybe there's room for rediscovery. Has anyone tried to do a research of that kind? and what are your thoughts on that?
Thanks

shiv.somashekhar
18 February 2013, 02:03 AM
The Mahabharata is poetry and has little historical value. While it is possible that some of its content was based on factual events and personalities, much of it is embellishment. The same is true for the Ramayana and the Puranas.

The Mahabharata itself claims it was originally just a fraction of its present size. As for any of its fantastic elements such as advanced weaponry and miracles, there is no evidence available.

it is interesting that the earliest Indian personality who can be dated is the Buddha (around ~400 BC). As has been noted by historians, no one before his time can be dated and it is also hard, if not impossible to separate fact from mythology.

Hindu33
18 February 2013, 03:58 AM
Hi Shiv somashekhar,

One of the main evidences I was referring to was the sites of Indus valley civilization like harappa and mohenjodaro and what is believed to be the city of dwaraka which was found under the arabian sea. And if we take up Ramayana, there is rama setu and the immense popularity of Rama as a king. Ramasetu is an important evidence which cannot be ignored easily as it might suggest that Ramayana was a historical account. Coming to weaponry, the iron pillar in delhi, believed to have been installed by Vikramaditya the great(around 300-700 BC), is a testimony towards their knowledge of metallurgy. Such an advanced knowledge in metallurgy is key to produce deadly weapons and aircrafts. If we look back, we have to consider all the events that took place. Even mahabharatha states that the barbaric invaders looted the wealth and women of India. Since then, whatever accounts we have are filled with invasion, loot, prosletysing and destruction of vedic dharma in all forms. So i feel that, in this period of time, we have lost a major amount of knowledge. Also, there is a simultaneous advancement of technology in the other parts of the world only after several invasions on india, before which they were mainly primitive. What is your opinion on this?
Thanks

jignyAsu
18 February 2013, 10:22 AM
Hello,
Now my question is, some of the evidence proves that this was not just a poem but also a historical account and even I am inclined to think so.


Namaste,

I am happy to see your growing faith. Mahabharata and Ramayana are itihAsAs, meaning considered to be a valid historical account by the seers and our Acharyas.

There have been "experts" always. And before the submerged Dwaraka or a Saraswati river was discovered they said that Mahabharata was entirely a fiction. Now they say, it may not be completely a fiction, some may be factual.

No work of fiction can find such a universal acceptance, especially in a land where every two person will agree to disagree. One can choose to disbelieve..but to say that everyone should stop believing it till they find all the evidences is not proper. In the above example those people who believed in the Dwaraka were the "fools" of those age.



And some experts suggest that the kurukshetra war had taken place some 3000 years ago.


This date is disputed. For e.g. they say Ramayana happened at 8000 BC. There is a fear that if they say it happened in Treta yuga, they will appear unscientific. And before this happened, according to them, India was inhabited by primitive people, as well...a lot of progress I would say in a short time: From doing a tribal dance to leading a life dedicated to finding the Brahman.

There is a sandhi period b/w every yuga and that is 32000 years between Dwapara and Kali. So, when we say Mahabharata happened in the end of Dwapara yuga, it could well have been 32k years before the start of Kali. That explains the missing effects and evidences of such a huge war. Astronomical positions based on which such conclusions were derived, keep repeating in cycles.



If we could possibly interpret the vedas and crack the codes, maybe there's room for rediscovery. Has anyone tried to do a research of that kind? and what are your thoughts on that?
Thanks

The Vedas don't describe chemical reactions alone. They mainly describe the powers of the mind. The users of such weapons acquired it by profound austerities and penances. So, meaning alone won't help us. This is also true with the mantras...the seers discovered spiritual potency in them, meant to be experienced and not to be diagnosed in a lab.

This much said, the Indians were more interested in preserving the spiritual wisdom in the texts, than the material aspect. The focus has ever been on the progress of the soul and not the bodily comforts and so they will consider an effort in this direction to be a waste of time.

Sahasranama
18 February 2013, 11:44 AM
Then how come so much is lost today and why no one has any knowledge about the great weapons or the mystical powers? If we could possibly interpret the vedas and crack the codes, maybe there's room for rediscovery. Has anyone tried to do a research of that kind? and what are your thoughts on that?
ThanksWith great power comes great responsibility.


Now my question is, some of the evidence proves that this was not just a poem but also a historical account and even I am inclined to think so.The Mahabharata is a true account of history. Unfortunately, modern Hindus put more faith in the writings of Semites, Greeks, Romans and Europeans, instead of the ancient history passed down to us by our own ancestors in the form of Itihasa and Purana.

jignyAsu
18 February 2013, 12:44 PM
The Mahabharata is a true account of history. Unfortunately, modern Hindus put more faith in the writings of Semites, Greeks, Romans and Europeans, instead of the ancient history passed down to us by our own ancestors in the form of Itihasa and Purana.


Nice to find someone who puts the words of our wise ancestors above everybody else :)

Hindu33
19 February 2013, 12:56 PM
Thanks for your comments jignyasu and sahasranama,

It is quite evident that veda vyasa, like you mention, has given much importance towards spiritual pursuit. I hope one day i find some momentum in that path since there is no hope with this world especially in kaliyuga. One more thing I don't understand: In mahabharatha itself, it is said that chanting hari's name is all that is needed. I don't understand how. Could you please throw some light on this?

truth_seeker
19 February 2013, 01:16 PM
The Mahabharata is poetry and has little historical value. While it is possible that some of its content was based on factual events and personalities, much of it is embellishment. The same is true for the Ramayana and the Puranas.

The Mahabharata itself claims it was originally just a fraction of its present size. As for any of its fantastic elements such as advanced weaponry and miracles, there is no evidence available.

it is interesting that the earliest Indian personality who can be dated is the Buddha (around ~400 BC). As has been noted by historians, no one before his time can be dated and it is also hard, if not impossible to separate fact from mythology.

Indeed, that's correct. The native textual tradition underlying the epic actually acknowledges that the tome was gradually built up, in stages. I'll try to find a reference to corroborate this statement, as I haven't got one readily available to share, although I sure read that stuff somewhere.

jignyAsu
19 February 2013, 04:54 PM
One more thing I don't understand: In mahabharatha itself, it is said that chanting hari's name is all that is needed. I don't understand how. Could you please throw some light on this?

Namaste Hindu!

Many Vaishnavas understand that the Vishnu Sahasranama (1000 Names of Vishnu) taught by Bhishma to Yudhistra is the cream of the Mahabharata.

The 1000 names of Vishnu chanted regularly with reverence will definetely burn away all our karmas and protect us from the effects of Kali. They will keep us happy here and hereafter. It is easy to chant and it is tastier than the tastiest food. :)

One note on "is all that is needed". Isn't Bhagavad Gita also part of the Mahabharata? And the Gita gives high priority to cultivate knowledge(jnAnA); karma yoga; and Bhakti. Mahabharata itself illustrates dharma.

So whether one says Vedic wisdom is also needed or says that chanting alone will produce all the wisdom you need, it is certain that chanting His Names will never go in vain!

ShivaFan
19 February 2013, 10:15 PM
Namaste

Some humans think this world is mundane, boring, or average destination. But that is because, sometimes no fault of their own, they live in a little well as a mundane, boring and rather average frog if you will. They live in the well and wait for the fly to come to them. There is nothing wrong with that, per say. Recently I saw a rather interesting murti of Buddha, but this Buddha was a frog dressed in a monk's robe and doing meditation. I suppose the frog in the well can be a great adventurer as well, if it were a meditative frog. Such a meditative frog can travel very far into and through the Universe.

But that is not me. Even this world, a place which I suppose I should escape from, is a huge, exciting, diverse destination full of wonders. This world is bigger than the well. And why can't I do both? Both travel as far as this little frog can go in the Universe by looking inside, and adventure the Wonders of this world past, present and future as well?

And there is no more wonderous place than Hinduism, which exists even in this world. There is a saying, "The Wonders of India". In fact, I am slowly working my web project called The Wonders of India. Those who actually were born in India, they don't use this term that many of us Westerners use viz "The Wonders of India". But every adventurous boy of the West knows what this means, especially Western Hindus. It means the temples, the amazing diverse family of people and the Devatas of Hinduism, it means the forest, the jungles, the masses of people, the wild life, the fauna and flora, the herbs and incense, the yogis and Saints, the oldest languages Sanskrit and Tamil. The Ganga! Lord Shiva! Ganesha! And Rama! The Ramayana for some, or the Mahabharata too.

A History of Wonder, the Ramayana. For us Westerners, it is a Huge book, and there isn't just one. And those who adventure into the Mahabharata (the Great Story of India), why this is even larger than the Ramayana the Story of Prince Rama. Huge books, huge History. But all the things that happened then, and live in the rivers, rocks, temples, Murtis, trees, jungles, battlefields, forests, hearts of those sages who hear and tell, it is much larger than the synopsis in the Sacred Texts. Huge. Larger than a thousand pages, and 108 Cantos. Larger than all the commentaries. So many things happened, and are even happening today. The Ramayana alone is so huge, my entire life will not be long enough to fly like a bird in that forest. But oddly, it isn't large enough in words alone. When it lives all around you. Where Hanuman is "out there".

It is all real. It all happened. And today, you can even live within it. And you can surround yourself. With The Wonders of India. And even find it all over the world called Hinduism.

Once I told Meher about Kalaallit Nunaat which for thousands of years is the largest island, but he didn't believe me. A place so green, travelers who came there from thousands of miles away to the uninhabitated regions of it called it The Land of Green, and grapes were grown, and fields of barley. Wine was made from the grapes, beer from the barley. For 300 years bearded men who worshipped many Gods ruled that place, arriving to The Land of Green from Kingdoms of Ice, until one day aborigines from a neighboring continent nearby arrived. The bearded men left. But not because of the aborigines. For some reason, The Land of Green became very cold, suddenly. Grapes won't grow anymore, barley died. Famines started. Then the plague came, buboes formed under arm pits and the groin.

Oddly, 300 years after the bearded men left, and the aborigines settled in, the bearded men returned. Because they remembered a great epic told to them by oral tradition of one of their Kings called The Red. He gave the name for this Island, the largest on Earth for many thousands of years, The Land of Green. But they found it wasn't green. They thought, the tales must be false, it was never green. It was even colder than their homeland. A few stayed, but basically they just called it the frozen place for their King.

Meher didn't believe anything I told him about Kalaallit Nunaat. Today we call it Greenland. Once it was green. But things change over time. Suddenly it became cold. The old wooden temples to the Gods rotted in the wet and cold and were gone. Some stones with carvings remained. A long time ago. The trees that once were there, were now gone. There were now different trees. The stars in the sky, their places in the sky shifted. They were no longer in the same places they were thousands of years ago.

Meher didn't believe me when I told him about Rama, either. Nor about the other great King called Ravana who was a type of leader of powerful but demon like ones called Rakshasas. He laughed at me when I told him, some think Ravan's body is still kept in a chamber in a cave on an island called Lanka.

The Ramayana documents many things, including poison arrows, different plants and trees, flowers and herbs, incense, forests, rivers, animals, some still are there, but some things are now gone. In Egypt, when everything turned so dry and sandy, many olden things were preserved. In India, many great wonders in stone and brick testify to the Histories. But unlike Egypt, in the humid and wet tropics, the arts that were in wood, they decayed and left the world. It doesn't mean the fortresses did not exist. White ants of the tropics lierally ate ancient texts. Trees and animals that were then, are not now. Even a great river not only changed course, but even disappeared. New things came. The stars that marked the sky when Hanuman marched South with Ram are not in the same positions as they were then. Everything changes. There is a bridge today from India to Lanka. But some say once that Land was much larger than today, but parts of Tamil Land are under the ocean. Today things may get warmer, or colder. Though some things in our lives do not change.

One day you may meet Hanuman, perhaps. There is all sorts of adventures awaiting a Hindu.

Rishyamukha forested mountain is near the river and Lake Pampa. From a hilltop of the forest, Sugriva first saw Lakshman and Lord Rama with bow and arrows in hand. He turned to You Lord Hanuman and gave You only one order. "They have been sent by Vali to seize me! Go find out!"... Strangers come from one place to another. Some fear them, perhaps for good reason. But it has happened before, and will happen again. The Ramayana also reveals such things. Just because you live in a well doesn't mean things have not happened. Something can happen right now, it is nice to leave the well and explore. Sure, there are chances and risks. Why not?

Om Namah Sivaya

Hindu33
20 February 2013, 01:03 AM
Namaste Hindu!

Many Vaishnavas understand that the Vishnu Sahasranama (1000 Names of Vishnu) taught by Bhishma to Yudhistra is the cream of the Mahabharata.

The 1000 names of Vishnu chanted regularly with reverence will definetely burn away all our karmas and protect us from the effects of Kali. They will keep us happy here and hereafter. It is easy to chant and it is tastier than the tastiest food. :)

One note on "is all that is needed". Isn't Bhagavad Gita also part of the Mahabharata? And the Gita gives high priority to cultivate knowledge(jnAnA); karma yoga; and Bhakti. Mahabharata itself illustrates dharma.

So whether one says Vedic wisdom is also needed or says that chanting alone will produce all the wisdom you need, it is certain that chanting His Names will never go in vain!

Thanks jignyasu. I probably need many more years to understand gita. Anyway, my fascination at the moment is with Mahabharatha as an interesting tale. I guess that's not too bad either.

Thanks again.

kallol
23 February 2013, 12:13 PM
History, as we study today is based on the few discoveries made till date. But the earth is much much older than this.

Every other day there is a new discovery by which the history changes. Till 1900 AD India's history started at 1500 BC. Discovering Mohenjodaro & harappa, the history of India was pushed back to 5000BC. With recent discovery at gulf of Cambay the history of India is at least 13000 BC and beyond.

So it is our limitations of discovering the facts and that does not limit the history itself.

DNA have proved that human have migrated to India 120000 years back. That those are lots many years !!!

Puranas talk about avatars which depicts the evolution of life in the earth. So scientific and matching. See all around the world. Best scientists have no clue about the abilities of ancient people.

So let us not undermine our scriptures and our puranas. They have there places and I am more of the opinion that those are part of our history. To what level they are exagerated, only future will say when we will achieve the level of science they had !!!!

ShivaFan
23 February 2013, 06:54 PM
Fantastic Kallol! Very wonderful perspective, and so full of truth.

The world of the ancients is much older than imagined, so old what we called imaginations are turning out to be a deeper remembrence of what was, that imagination itself is just another form of a deeper perception.

I really appreciated your insights on history.

Om Namah Sivaya

ranjitm
06 March 2013, 10:29 AM
I think the Bharata described in the scriptural pages and the Bharata we see today are two different things. For starters, Puranas give the length of Bharata - from Himalaya to the sea - to be about 72,000 miles. That's eight times the diameter of the Earth.

Secondly, entities like Vindhya, Himalaya (mountains), Parashurama, Veda-vyasa etc. are described to be active, apparent on Earth even during the Kali-yuga and they are said to interact with certain people now and then. But as far as we are concerned, we are not able to see these personalities at all. But great sages like Shankaracharya, etc. - whose reputation is as pure as the Ganga - attest to having met these personalities. Forget Shankara - he came thousands of years ago. Tulsidasa, Surdas, Tukaram, etc. indirectly imply the existence of such a supernatural Bharata-varsha unequivocally. But even these sages are of an ancient time.

Today, we have saints like Kripaluji Maharaj and Rambhadracharya. In their lectures, they recount the history of Puranas and present them as 100% fact - and with such conviction that it is impossible for any religiously-inclined believer not to accept their views. These are authorities we are talking about; authorities of Sanatana Dharma. What they say IS true.

Sri Ramakrishna Paramhamsa, even though seemingly ignorant of Vedic knowledge, was adamant about the historicity of the Puranas like Bhagavatam, etc. And who can doubt the attestation of such a soul? He proclaimed of having witnessed Sri Mahadeva whispering Taaraka mantra in the ears of corpses in Kaashi. This is a statement of the Puranas.

So, yes, the Bharata-varsha of the Puranas is a very real place. But it also happens that what we see isn't the be all and end all of everything. There are higher planes of existence which substantially advanced yogis and mystics can see.